Boohoo linked to more supply chain issues, suspends two suppliers
Fast fashion retailer Boohoo has been mired in yet more supply chain controversy with allegations that workers in Pakistan were being paid just 29p per hour to produce its clothing.
Boohoo said the latest allegations, revealed by the Guardian newspaper and supported by video evidence, “are extremely concerning”.
The claims are focused on its supply chain in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and Preston, England, and allege that some workers are being paid up to 40% below the £81 minimum monthly wage for unskilled labourers. They also highlight potential safety issues in a Pakistan factory.
After the newspaper approached Boohoo about the findings, the company suspended UK supplier JD Fashion Ltd (which is no relation to JD Sports), and production company AH Fashion from its supply chain while it investigated the claims.
Another factory allegedly involved, Madina Gloves, denied workers’ claims that it had recently been making clothes for Boohoo. AH Fashion acknowledged it had fulfilled an order for the brand as recently as October.
Meanwhile, Boohoo has also appointed independent compliance and auditing firm Bureau Veritas to investigate the allegations in Pakistan.
A Boohoo spokesperson said: “As part of our international compliance programme, AH Fashions received a SMETA audit in November 2020, where no issues of this nature were found, so these allegations are extremely concerning”.
These latest accusations follow a Sunday Times report earlier this year which alleged poor pay and conditions at a factory in Leicester making Nasty Gal brand products.
The company launched an independent review which led to the introduction of its ‘Agenda for Change’ programme, designed to “deliver meaningful change to the group’s supply chain and its business practices”.
Last month, Boohoo also appointed high profile former lawyer Sir Brian Leveson to provide independent oversight of the programme. A key part of his role is “to strengthen oversight” in Boohoo’s global supply chain, with a particular focus on undeclared subcontracting.
Boohoo’s own review had highlighted issues with unauthorised subcontracting in its UK supply chain and it said it “took immediate action by deploying additional third party auditing resource both in the UK and overseas to map and audit our supply chain”.
It intends to publish its UK supplier list by March 2021 and its global supplier list by September 2021.
Of the latest allegations, Boohoo added: “As we have previously stated, we will not tolerate any instance of mistreatment or underpayment of garment workers. Our early investigations have revealed that AH Fashions was not a declared supplier by JD Fashions and that Madina Gloves has not produced any orders for Boohoo since July 2019.
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